Are you a Medicare beneficiary? Are you aware that open enrollment for some Medicare benefits ends Dec. 7?
Open enrollment is the time of the year when changes can be made in the plans and providers you’ve chosen for your Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage and/or Medicare Advantage option. If you wish to make changes, you can only do so between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7.
Open enrollment is also a good time to run drug comparisons to make sure the Medicare Part D plan you are on is still your best option as Medicare Part D plans change from year to year.
Individuals who receive the Low Income Subsidy (LIS) can change their plans anytime of the year. Even if you are receiving help through LIS, it is a good idea to check your plans to make sure all of your medications will be covered on your current plan for 2021.
The Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) is a local resource you can utilize for assistance with the open enrollment process and can be reached by calling 1-800-582-7277. In addition, the Ohio Senior Health Insurance and Information Program (OSHIIP) is replacing its in-person Fall Medicare Check-Up presentations with daily webinars that started Sept. 14. During the presentations, OSHIIP will review Medicare Parts A, B, D, Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage Plans, focusing on the upcoming Medicare Open Enrollment period and the 2021 changes and updates. They will discuss how to compare plans and make changes during the Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 Medicare Open Enrollment period. You can register at the following link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/4987248812118591502.
Webinars will be held Monday through Thursday, Sept. 14 through Oct. 14. Sessions are available at 1 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day with an additional 6 p.m. session on Wednesdays. If you have additional questions, you can call OSHIIP at 1-800-686-1578.
To be eligible for Medicare health insurance plans, you must be at least 65, or be on Social Security disability for two years, and be a U.S. resident or legal citizen for at least five years.
Original Medicare, sometimes referred to as Part A and Part B, helps with hospital, doctor and outpatient services. More than likely, a Medicare supplement is needed in order to cover the costs not covered by Parts A and Part B. Medicare Advantage, or Part C, combines Parts A, B and D in to one plan. During open enrollment, beneficiaries have the opportunity to make changes to these plans that provide better support for their health and well-being. It’s a time to change what doesn’t work and keep what does.
More information about Medicare plans and options is available at www.medicare.gov.
The AAA7 is available as a resource to those in its 10-county district who would like assistance with Medicare or open enrollment. Counties covered by the AAA7 include Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton. For questions or assistance, call toll-free at 1-800-582-7277, ext. 250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nina R. Keller is the executive director of Area Agency on Aging District 7, which includes Highland County.